Special Education

Overview of the Annual Performance Report Development:

See Overview of the Development of the Annual Performance Report (APR) in the Introduction section, page 1.

Monitoring Priority: FAPE in the LRE

Indicator 11: Percent of children who were evaluated within 60 days of receiving parental consent for initial evaluation or, if the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeline.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B))

Measurement:

  1. # of children for whom parental consent to evaluate was received.
  2. # of children whose evaluations were completed within 60 days (or State-established timelines*).

Account for children included in (a) but not included in (b).  Indicate the range of days beyond the timeline when the evaluation was completed and any reasons for the delays.

Percent = [(b) divided by (a)] times 100.

*The State’s established timeline to complete the initial evaluation is 60 calendar days from the date of parental consent to evaluate for preschool and school-age students. 1

New York State’s (NYS) Calculation:

NYS’ formula calculating results for this indicator is as follows:

  1. # of children for whom parental consent to evaluate was received (does not include students whose evaluations were completed past the State-established timelines for reasons that are in compliance with State requirements.)
  2. # of children whose evaluations were completed within 60 calendar days for preschool 2 and school-age students.
    Percent = [(b) divided by (a)] times 100.

Data Source:

Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, NYS collects data for this indicator from a representative sample of school districts (including New York City each year) via the Student Information Repository System (SIRS) and verifies these data by displaying them in a VR11 report, which was developed in the PD Data System.  SIRS is NYS' individual student data reporting system.

NYS’ Method Used to Collect Data

NYS collects individual student data through SIRS.  School districts report specific dates when special education events occur, such as the date of referral, date of written parent consent for an initial individual evaluation and the date of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) or Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting to discuss evaluation results.  Information is also collected regarding the number of days from receipt of parent consent to evaluate the child and the date of the CPSE or CSE meeting to discuss evaluation results.  If the number of days exceeds the State-established timelines, reasons for delays are collected.  Some reasons are considered to be in compliance with State requirements and other reasons are not in compliance.   Each school district’s compliance rate is calculated.  NYS requires documentation from each school district whose compliance rate is less than 100 percent that demonstrates each student’s evaluation was completed and that it complies with the regulatory timelines associated with timely completion of initial individual evaluations.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) Measurable and Rigorous Target
FFY 2012
(2012-13 school year)
100 percent of children with parental consent to evaluate will be evaluated within State-required timelines.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2012:

In FFY 2012, 92.4 percent of students with parental consent to evaluate received their initial individual evaluations within State-required timelines.

  • 92.4 percent of school-age students had their initial evaluations completed within 60 calendar days of the date of the parent’s consent to evaluate.
  • 92.3 percent of preschool children had their initial evaluations completed within the State required timeline. 

Description of how the State treated, in its data for Indicator 11, children for whom consent to conduct an initial evaluation was received during FFY 2012, but the timeline for completing the evaluation elapsed after the end of FFY 2012:

NYS reports all students with parental consent to evaluate provided during the 2012-13 school year in the reporting for the 2012-13 school year.  In order to ensure that compliance is determined for all students for whom consent was received in the 2012-13 school year, evaluation completion data was captured for all of the 2012-13 school year as well as for the first two months of the 2013-14 school year (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013 and July 1, 2013 – August 31, 2013).

Children Evaluated Within 60 Days (or State-established timeline) during FFY 2012

a. Number of children for whom parental consent to evaluate was received

16,670 3

b. Number of children whose evaluations were completed within 60 days (or State-established timelines)

15,403
Percent of children with parental consent to evaluate, who were evaluated within 60 days (or State-established timeline)  (Percent = [(b) divided by (a)] times 100) 92.4%

Account for children included in (a) but not included in (b) in the above table:

There are 1,267 students in (a) and not in (b) of the above table.  These are students for whom evaluations were not completed within State-established timelines for reasons which are not in compliance with State requirements.  The chart below provides information regarding the extent of delays and reasons for not completing the initial evaluations of children within the State-established timelines.

Reasons for Delays, FFY 2012 Number of Children by Number of Days of Delay in Completing Evaluations, FFY 2012 Total Percent
of
Total
1-10 11-20 21-30 Over 30
An approved evaluator was not available to provide a timely evaluation. 47 78 53 172 350 27.6%
Evaluator delays in completing evaluations. 125 112 55 143 435 34.3%
Delays in scheduling CPSE or CSE meetings. 222 121 47 92 482 38.0%
Total 394 311 155 407 1,267  
Percent of Total 31.1% 24.6% 12.2% 32.1%   100%

Discussion of Improvement Activities Completed and Explanation of Progress or Slippage that Occurred for FFY 2011:

Explanation of Progress or Slippage:

In 2012-13, NYS’ compliance rate improved to 92.4 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points over the State’s rate of 90.1 percent in 2011-12.  This improvement is significant because the State measures its performance each year based on a different representative sample of school districts.  Improvement for this indicator, therefore, demonstrates the proactive attention given to this compliance issue through the State’s improvement activities.

School-Age Evaluations

92.4 percent of school-age students had their initial evaluations completed within 60 calendar days of the date of the parent’s consent to evaluate.  This compares with a 92.5 percentage rate in the prior year.

Preschool Evaluations

92.3 percent of preschool children had their initial evaluations completed within the State required timeline.  This is an improvement of 6.5 percentage points from the prior year.  In part, this improvement can be attributed to the amendment of State regulations, effective April 2012, to align preschool and school-age evaluation timelines.  The NYS law that allows the parent of a preschool child to select the approved evaluator to conduct the individual evaluation limits gains in this target area, as parents do not always select approved evaluators who are available to complete the individual evaluation within the State’s required timeline.

Lengths of Delays

A review of the length of delays indicates the following:

  • 31.1 percent of all delays in completing initial evaluations were for 1-10 days;
  • 24.5 percent for 11-20 days;
  • 12.2 percent for 21-30 days; and
  • 32.1 percent for more than 30 days.

There is an increase in the percent of delays in completing initial evaluations for 1-10 days and also a decrease in the percentage of delays for more than 30 days. 

Reasons for Delays

A review of the reasons for the delays indicates:

  • 27.6 percent of delays were because an approved evaluator was not available to provide a timely evaluation;
  • 34.3 percent because of evaluator delays in completing the evaluations; and
  • 38.0 percent related to timeliness of scheduling CPSE or CSE meetings to discuss evaluation results.

Last year, we reported that only 18.7 percent of delays were because an approved evaluator was not available to provide a timely evaluation.  However, this year, the data shows that 27.6 percent of the delays were linked to this reason.

Last year, we reported that 39.2 percent of the delays were reported as caused by untimely scheduling of CPSE or CSE meetings to discuss the evaluation results.  The State’s FFY 2012 data shows only 38.0 percent were indicated as the reason.

NYS requests consideration by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the effect of Hurricane Sandy on results for this indicator.  Delays in availability of approved evaluators, evaluations and CSE and CPSE meetings to discuss the evaluation results (which is the date NYS uses to determine if evaluations met the State timeline) that were directly impacted by the effects of the storm were counted by NYS as reasons  considered to be in compliance with State requirements (see explanation below).  In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive devastation of property and infrastructure damage to many communities in NYS.  Many schools were temporarily closed, many students were temporarily displaced from their residences from one school district to another school district and many families became temporarily homeless.  Schools particularly in the Long Island, lower Hudson Valley and New York City (NYC) regions were significantly impacted by the storm.  These are among the most populated regions of NYS.  In NYC alone, 57 schools received extensive damage and some remained closed for an extensive period.  As a result, many school districts were not able to meet the timelines for timely initial evaluations. 

In response to a request from the State Education Department for flexibility in light of damage caused to some NYS school districts by Hurricane Sandy, Melody Musgrove, Director of OSEP indicated that “it would be reasonable for New York to establish a different timeframe for completing evaluations of all children suspected of having a disability in those LEAs whose operations have been significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy.”  With regard to individualized education program (IEP) implementation, Dr. Musgrove stated that 34 CFR §300.323(c) provides some flexibility to local educational agencies (LEAs) that were affected by Hurricane Sandy to implement IEPs “as soon as possible” (letter from OSEP dated November 20, 2013). 

NYS responded with guidance to schools that the State would not issue findings of noncompliance to a school district because of its failure to meet these requirements when it is evident that the failure was a direct result of the State disaster emergency.  The guidance also clarified that it was expected that school districts would use such flexibility only to the extent and for the duration  absolutely necessary and consistent with the conditions they are facing to bring normalcy back to the education programs for their students with disabilities. 

In addition to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, delays in evaluations continue to be impacted by bilingual personnel shortages, particularly in NYC and the other Big Four cities.  The State and NYC are implementing court settlement actions under the Jose P. court case relating to availability of professionals in personnel shortage areas (e.g., speech and language and bilingual evaluators).

Improvement Activities Completed in 2012-13

  • To improve timely correction of noncompliance, the Office of Special Education continued the use of electronic notices, sent to school districts at three-month intervals, as a reminder of the noncompliance that needs to be corrected and the next steps that will be taken by the Office of Special Education should timely correction not occur.  Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) monitoring staff also receive copies of the electronic notices and take appropriate proactive actions, including direct follow-up upon a finding that noncompliance was not corrected within nine months.
  • Monitoring staff in NYC provided monthly technical assistance to all ten CPSE.  Topics addressed included, but were not limited to, factors preventing preschool students from receiving evaluations and IEP meetings within required timelines; ways to increase the number of IEP meetings held within timelines; and effective practices to improve the overall operations of the CPSE process in each district.
  • NYC monitoring staff met with the borough directors of the Early Childhood Direction Centers (ECDCs) to identify and address the reasons that preschool students were not receiving evaluations and IEP meetings within required timelines.
  • NYC monitoring staff received monthly reports on the progress of newly initiated CPSE placement officers, whose responsibilities included assisting to improve CPSE operations and ensuring timely IEP meetings.
  • During 2012-13, the Intensive Teacher Institute in Bilingual Special Education provided tuition assistance for 211 candidates seeking the certification required to provide bilingual special education, bilingual related services and English as a second language instruction to English language learners with suspected or identified disabilities.  Seventy-five (75) of the candidates completed the requirements for their certificate or extension.  Over 90 percent of New York City employees who completed an ITI-BSE program between 2009 and 2012 were still working for NYC public schools in June 2013.
  • The NYC Preschool Bilingual/English as a Second Language Technical Assistance Center (NYC Bilingual Preschool TAC) provided more than 85 training sessions to 361 employees of NYS approved preschool special education programs so that these programs could provide interim alternate bilingual placements when a fully certified bilingual special education teacher was not available.
  • As of November 2013, the Speech-Language and Bilingual Speech-Language Personnel Development Technical Assistance Center was assisting 91 monolingual and 13 bilingual candidates to take courses leading to NYS licensure in speech-language pathology (SLP) and certification in Teaching Students with Speech and Language Disabilities and 48 had completed the requirements for SLP licensure.  Another 18 monolingual and 12 bilingual candidates supported by the project were taking courses needed for acceptance into SLP programs.  NYC Department of Education reported that they had 163 more monolingual speech providers and 18 more bilingual speech providers in November 2013 than in the previous year.
  • The State continued to provide a three-day training program for chairpersons of CSEs and CPSEs, which includes training on the timelines and process for conducting individual initial evaluations and determining eligibility for special education.  In 2012-13, 40 three-day sessions were provided throughout NYS.
  • The State and NYC are implementing court settlement actions under two court cases:  DD and Jose P., both relating to timely evaluations and placements of students with disabilities.
  • ECDCs provided technical assistance to families, including mobile military families that have a child with a disability, on topics such as warning signs that might indicate the need for an evaluation, the referral process and identification of young children with disabilities, the evaluation process and available services.  The ECDCs also provided technical assistance to professionals on topics such as the referral and timeline process.
  • ECDCs continued to collaborate with Department of Health, SEQA, Parent Centers and Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers to address issues related to initial evaluations and timelines.
  • ECDCs disseminated comprehensive lists of approved evaluators to school districts, parents and preschool special education programs, and assisted bilingual families in obtaining translators for evaluation purposes.
  • Links to federal technical assistance resources were provided to school districts with their notifications of findings of noncompliance.
  • The State provided increased Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds to ECDCs to provide enhanced support to districts, providers and parents of preschool children to promote timely referral and evaluation. 

Correction of FFY 2011 Findings of Noncompliance (if State reported less than 100 percent compliance):

Level of compliance (actual target data) State reported for FFY 2011 for this indicator: 90.1 percent 

  1. Number of findings of noncompliance the State made during FFY 2011 (the period from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012)
106
(68 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2011 findings the State verified as timely corrected (corrected within one year from the date of notification to the local educational agency of the finding)  
102
(65 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2011 findings not verified as corrected within one year [(1) minus (2)]
4 findings
(3 school districts)
Correction of FFY 2011 Findings of Noncompliance Not Timely Corrected (corrected more than one year from identification of the noncompliance):
  1. Number of FFY 2011 findings not timely corrected (same as the number from (3) above)
4 findings
(3 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2011 findings the State has verified as corrected beyond the one-year timeline (“subsequent correction”)
4 findings
(3 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2011 findings not verified as corrected [(4) minus (5)]
0 findings
(0 school districts)

Actions Taken if Noncompliance Found Is Not Corrected:

All findings of noncompliance from FFY 2011 have been corrected.

Verification of Correction of FFY 2011 Noncompliance (either timely or subsequent):

NYS has verified that each LEA with noncompliance identified in FFY 2011 for this indicator:  (1) is correctly implementing 34 CFR §300.301(c)(1) (i.e., achieved 100 percent compliance) based on a review of updated data such as data subsequently collected through on-site monitoring or a State data system; and (2) has completed the evaluation, although late, for any child whose initial evaluation was not timely, unless the child is no longer within the jurisdiction of the LEA, consistent with OSEP Memo 09-02. 

Describe the specific actions that the State took to verify the correction of findings of noncompliance identified in FFY 2011:

The State verified the correction of noncompliance by requiring submission of the specific date that the individual evaluation was completed, although late, for each individual student whose evaluation was not timely.  To verify the correction of noncompliance for all students through the review of subsequent data demonstrating compliance, the districts were required to report to the State the percent of students who had a timely evaluation over a specified period of time. See http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sedcar/forms/vr/1112/html/verif11.htm.

Correction of Any Remaining Findings of Noncompliance from FFY 2010 or Earlier (if applicable):

NYS does not have any uncorrected noncompliance related to this indicator from FFY 2010 or earlier years.

Additional Information Required by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) APR Response Table for this Indicator (if applicable):

Because the State reported less than 100 percent compliance for FFY 2011, the State must report on the status of correction of noncompliance identified in FFY 2011 for this indicator.  When reporting on the correction of noncompliance, the State must report, in its FFY 2012 APR, that it has verified that each LEA with noncompliance identified in FFY 2011 for this indicator:  (1) is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements (i.e., achieved 100 percent compliance) based on a review of updated data such as data subsequently collected through on-site monitoring or a State data system; and (2) has corrected each individual case of noncompliance, unless the child is no longer within the jurisdiction of the LEA, consistent with OSEP Memo 09-02.  In the FFY 2012 APR, the State must describe the specific actions that were taken to verify the correction.

The State has verified that each LEA with noncompliance identified in FFY 2011 has corrected identified noncompliance. 

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2013 [If applicable]

None


1 Effective April 2012, the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education were amended to align the preschool initial evaluation timeline of 30 school days from receipt of consent, to the federal timeline for initial evaluations and the timeline established in New York State for school-age evaluations, which is 60 calendar days.

2 For preschool evaluations completed prior to April 2012, the timeline calculation was 30 school days from date of parental consent to evaluate.

3 The 16,670 parental consents to evaluate received does not include another 1,377 students whose evaluations were completed beyond the required timeline, but for reasons authorized in the exception provided in 34 CFR §300.301(d).

Last Updated: July 10, 2014